Carole Blueweiss

Dwarfism: Life as a Little Person


Jillian Curwin, an advocate for dwarfism and disability awareness, is the host of the podcast, “Always Looking Up.”  She was born with achondroplasia—a form of dwarfism. On the previous episode of Wisdom Shared, I spoke with her mother, Audrey. You can listen to that episode here:

In this episode, Jillian talks about what it’s like navigating this world that is primarily designed for average-height people when she herself is a little person. Her commentary on films and TV is eye-opening as she shares her frustrations, solutions, and creative visions. All these ideas can go a long way toward accessibility and inclusion if we as a society change our own perspectives and see life from other points of view.

I learned a lot from speaking with Jillian for this episode, and from speaking with her mom Audrey in my last episode. Most of us take our average height for granted. Jillian helps expand our understanding with humor, intelligence, and most of all, first-hand experience as a little person.


Achondroplasia is a form of short-limbed dwarfism. The word achondroplasia literally means “without cartilage formation.”


Jillian’s Disney Project (includes photos)


Thinking Big: The Story of a Young Dwarf  Children’s Book


Little People, Big World  TV Show


Nancy Volpe Beringer: Fashion Design for Sustainability and Adaptability


Little People of America


American Association of People with Disabilities


Rebecca Cokely, Ford Foundation Program Officer, U.S. Disability Rights


Maria Town, American Association of People with Disabilities, President and CEO


Wigs and Wishes








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The Wisdom Shared Team

  • Audio Engineering by Steve Heatherington of Good Podcasting Works
  • Co-Producer and Marketing Coordinator: Kayla Nelson
  • Production Assistant: Becki Leigh

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